SEVEN DOPED HORSES
Ever since the Duke of Norfolk's committee recommended it in 1961, racehorses in England have been examined for doping on a random-selection basis. Now it turns out that during a recent six-week period, random tests produced seven cases in which "positive evidence of doping" was found. The discovery rocked the Jockey Club, which governs flat racing, and the National Hunt Committee, which controls steeplechasing, as severely as the adventures of Christine Keeler rocked the Conservative Party.
"It's a fantastic state of affairs," said Woodrow Wyatt, racehorse owner, Labor Member of Parliament and campaigner for government action on doping. "If these seven were found at random, how many untested horses were doped?"
A good question. The tests covered only two winners and a few unplaced horses at each meeting. These amounted to a mere 10 tests a week. As Norman Pegg observed in the London Daily Sketch, when the number is soon stepped up to 30 a week cold arithmetic suggests that the number of doping cases disclosed will increase threefold.
Worse yet, the doping was discovered even as a court at Brighton was hearing evidence in a similar case uncovered in 1962—one that led much alarmed British racing authorities to try to tighten their track security. A thorough investigation may disclose that at the bottom of doping is the low wage level of stable hands, never at best much more than $30 a week. In the opinion of one learned observer, until English stable lads are paid more, doping will almost certainly continue.
A VOICE FROM THE SEA
Among the thousand devotees of submarine adventure who attended the Underwater Society of America's Philadelphia meeting, there were a number engrossed in the problem of whether man can one day breathe water. There has been some early success with dogs and mice under rather special conditions. A number of explorers and technicians expounded the proposition that the land-born human, breathing gases in a natural manner, can live for days and weeks and years below. But the most famous undersea man, Captain Jacques-Yves Cousteau, was not among them. He sent regrets from the edge of a reef under the Red Sea, where he was at the time living, swimming, eating, sleeping, dreaming and working. The inherent risks of Captain Cousteau's submergence equal those of the astronauts, but scarcely anyone knew he had left his natural land world. There was no Mercury Control keeping the world in touch with him or a Shorty Powers to tell us what the captain was eating or how he had slept. After a month the captain was still under water.
The difference between the outer-space race and our progress in inner space was summed up at the convention by Clare Boothe Luce, a diving lady of experience (SI, Aug. 11 and 18, 1958). "Today," she said, "the United States is spending billions to beat Soviet Russia to the moon by a nose cone. Prestige is avowedly our government's prime motivation for this colossally costly undertaking. I happen to be one who believes pride is not a particularly worthy motivation for either a great government or its great scientists. The diversion of such vast funds and so many scientists from other efforts far more immediately and proximately useful in the name of prestige is, I believe, regrettable and will sooner or later be regretted.
"I do not doubt that within a decade the American people will come to see that compared to the treasures and pleasures, the riches and knowledge we can gain from visiting the Old Man of the Sea, the Man on the Moon has little to offer. Indeed, by comparison, he is a pauper and a swindler."
TOMORROW THE WORLD